Tag Archives: worker

The Need for Radical Solutions

The title may seem misleading, the point is not to reform the system itself, by the system I mean capitalism and its political counterpart liberal democracy, but to completetly overhaul it; to end it, destroy it, and with its destruction plant the seeds of the foundations of a less flawed system, that is, without grotesque inequities, a system that grants the rights to our truly free, natural and creative existence while still being able to preserve the positive aspects of modern society.

Yet what is it about about modern society that makes it so grotesque? Why is it that we should not accept the thesis of Francis Fukuyama in The End of History? Well, to answer those questions all we have to look at are statistics:

  • 870 million people in the world do not have enough to eat according to WFP (http://www.wfp.org/hunger/stats)
  • 69.9% and 66.7% of the people in Sub-saharan Africa and South Asia (respectively) live on under 2$ a day (PPP) according to the world bank (http://data.worldbank.org/topic/poverty)
  • These statistics are naturally quite unfairly in favor of the anti-capitalist, especially while not looking at the trend of general improvement of lifting people from poverty into a relatively comfortable material existence, by no means a desirable one, but enough to get by. And for the neo-liberal status quo apologists this seems to be enough. But for the socialist this is far from enough, for although the most grotesque aspect of capitalism seems to be eliminated, there is no denying the fact that if production was organized differently those who live in relatively destitute conditions in comparison to their employers could lift themselves from these conditions to live more meaningful lives by owning the product of their labor. As opposed to expropriating the product in exchange for meager wages.

    The capitalist apologists would now make two arguements against what is said above. The first is that the exchange of the worker’s labor for wages is a voluntary exchange. This is false because the worker needs to produce in order to exist, and in order to produce he needs to enter the capitalist production relations where the owner of capital employs people to produce using the capital. Well the worker could just start his own bussiness, right? Probably not since he probably does not have the necessary human capital in order to acquire productive capital from creditors. Even if he did, say, have a genius bussiness plan, the bank would still most likely reject a loan due to the lack of a bussiness major or at least some form of higher level education diploma. Hence the exchange of labor for wages is not voluntary but coercive, not by physical forces but by market forces. The second arguement which the apologist would make is that a job is better than no job. And while this is true he or she does not look at the most obvious alternative; that the workers own the means of production themselves and have the right to set wages, employment, investment etc…

    This naturally transitions into the actual solutions to the innate inequalities within the capitalist production which extracts surplus value for the accummulation of wealth into the hands of a marginalized population. Workers control seems to be the obvious solution to general inequality, the question remains; How can it be implemented? The fact is that bussiness leaders would not sympathize with idea that the basis of their wealth should be expropriated to the workers. Hence I conclude that socialist production relations must be created within a world dominated by capitalist relations through setting up cooperatives (of which there are many successful examples in Argentina for example) to eventually replace capitalist relations. Cooperative production will eventually dominate traditional industrial production through the aid of the state by tax discrimination, creating state owned banks for cheap capital to cooperatives and other state measures.